Linda in Omaha
I found myself entering into the strange new world of the characters. Makes one wonder what it would really be like if the rapture came and I was one of the leftovers...one left behind. Who would be taken that would really surprise us? Those we would never expect to be raptured from the world. Those who don't fit our idea of the saved ones. Very interesting. And how many people would deny it was really the Rapture?
Usually my policy with book reviews is "if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all." Even if a book wasn't really my style I figure that someone worked really hard to write it and they don't deserve to hear their work torn apart. However, my reaction to this book is that it is so bad that I want other people to know before spending money on this one.
I heard about this book on a book podcast and it sounded like a really funny read. I've never read Tom Perrotta but am thinking that maybe his style isn't for me. The first 95% of the book is really disjointed and made me think of watching the nightly news if the news had hidden cameras and was reporting only the most mundane things that they saw. The only reason I actually finished the book is that I was hoping it would be one of those books where you are so blown away by the ending that it made the rest worth it. This ending was sloppy and disappointing. Basically it seemed like the author got to a point where he figured he should end the book and then drew all of the (too many in my opinion) characters together in the sloppiest ways.
I'm a christian, but was not offended by the subject matter, but can see how some people would be. If you are someone who is offended by different takes on the last days this book probably isn't for you.
Right after this book I found "Good Omens" by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. "Good Omens" is exactly what I was hoping for out of "The Leftovers" and I would highly recommend it instead of wasting your money on this book.
I heard an interview with Tom Perrotta on NPR which compelled me to give this book a listen. This is a book that will probably stay with me simply because of how unique the story is. The third person omniscient narrator seems to have absolutely no bias and although many religiously radical characters are portrayed throughout the book, the book itself never really gives up the truth about the event that propels the story, which is probably its most intriguing characteristic.
In an interview at the end of this audio edition, Perrotta admits that he began writing this story as a post-apocalyptic comedy, but sort of lost himself to the heaviness of his character's despondency. In this sense, the book is a jumbled mess of dramatic situations where the comedic relief is faint and belated. Still, the book can't quite pull off full-fledged drama and Perrotta seems scrambling at the end to tie everything into an optimistic bow.
Perrotta's characters are either extremely developed or almost flat. Their motives are rarely explained with such an overemphasis on the emotions that accompany them that it is quite difficult to related to many of the characters (especially Meg and Laurie).
Many of Perrotta's metaphors are beautifully crafted if he would just stop trying to over-explain. My favorite is when referring to "corn stubble poking up from frozen fields," but he unfortunately continues with, "like hairs on a leg that needed shaving," (214)--an unnecessary addition to a unique metaphor that really needed no further elaboration.
As for the narrator, I'm not really a fan. I've certainly heard worse narrations, but Boutsikaris makes each character sound vaguely the same. The women especially are all difficult to connect with because they all sound shallow, disinterested and snooty.
Overall, if you’re one for speculative fiction and the premise strikes you, perhaps it is worth your time, but for those who are a bit less easy to impress, rethink the purchase.
Was pleasantly surprised as the story unfolded. In the beginning the characters seemed disconnected but as the story evolved, you could see how their lives intersected. Good insight into unthinkable grief and loss...providing food for thought long after the book ends. I particularly liked the interview with the author at the end, he provided additional insight I found very helpful in putting it all together. I loved the narration by Dennis Boutsikaris, his interpretation provided just the right amount of sarcasm and wit, a necessary balance to this dark tale. Certainly a different kind of story, but recommended.
Found the story started slowly, then grew on me. At first, you're introduced into a different world and get to know a number of characters. As you're getting used to the different world, you get to know the characters better, and you care about them as they close in on their destiny.
Perrotta's a gifted, funny writer, and here he's exploring loss on a big scale, but it's the same kind of loss we experience in real life. If there's a takeaway, it may that readers who can buy in and suspend disbelief finish the work with an ability to deal with loss more felicitously than before.
Firstly, I am a fan of Tom Perrota, so I was excited about this novel and open to the premise. I was impressed by the simplicity of his introduction of the premise; metaphysics without being deeply, dramatically metaphysical. Alternatively, the premise could have been an excuse to take a science fiction approach. Perotta simply accepts the premise, and we get to watch the charters develop as they live in a topsy-turvy world.
As always, Perotta's characters are real, flawed and imperfect. We get to know their internal life without the writing becoming thick.
One of the markers of an enjoyable read/listen is that I think about aspects of the book long after its over (much like any other work of art). The Leftovers passes this test in flying colors, as I have found its premise to become an active metaphor for part of life that we rarely allow oureslves to consider
I really, really enjoyed the narrator of this audio book and, for a while, I really enjoyed the story. Perotta is a talented writer, and his writing flows wonderfully. But Perotta's tale never really stops its descent into darkness, and after a while it all becomes too much. I hoped for some redemption, some shred of hope, some sense of movement for these characters, but it never came.
I got Stephen King's Cell and another one too awhile back and they were so much a like I couldnt believe it. They both leave you hanging at an abrupt stop. THATS IT!! Is what you want to say. Same with this only a little different plot with the Rapture thing but its an interesting story with no answers given to explain anything and it ends so fast on such an so what type of note your not even sure if you downloaded it all the way if it wernt for the "Thank you for listen to The leftovers" thing at the end.
I was shocked to hear this referred to as a "comic" take on a post-apocalyptic world. I don't recall actually laughing during this book at all. The story had potential, but I don't think it was fully explored. The end was so abrupt, I actually rewound the book to make sure I hadn't missed anything. The performance was good, but I don't think it's worth a listen for the performance alone. Skip this one.
The leftover characters are as you might imagine.
Aside from a few cleverly written passages, I might have nothing good to say about this sad, opinionated bit.
I cannot decide if I want to finish the last few chapters.